Klopp threatens to exit the European Cup with Liverpool: “Really bad game”

Jürgen Klopp didn’t even try to sugarcoat the defeat. His Liverpool FC had just lost the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals against Atalanta Bergamo 3-0 at Anfield at home, and the coach lacked the energy to unconditionally protect his players as usual. He said he had “nothing positive to say” on broadcaster TNT Sports: “It was a bad performance and that’s why we lost.”

This applied to all parts of the team: insufficient penetration in the attack, unnecessary turnovers in the build-up game, insufficient concentration in defense – Liverpool could not have complained on Thursday evening if the guests from Italy had scored even more goals.

Klopp had initially rested some central figures such as Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai and Andrew Robertson in order not to overload them in the final spurt of the season. But that didn’t excuse the team’s collective collapse against the sixth-placed team in Serie A. “With a lot of performances today I thought: Oops, wow,” Klopp tried to put his astonishment into words: “That was really bad.”

In the second leg in Bergamo next week (Thursday, 9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Europa League and on RTL+), Liverpool now have to overcome a three-goal deficit. They proved that they are capable of doing this in the Champions League semi-final against FC Barcelona in 2019. Back then, too, they had lost the first leg 3-0, but came up trumps in the second leg and won sensationally 4-0 – albeit in their own stadium.

When asked about this, Klopp said now was not the time for a big mouth. The targeted Europa League final on May 22nd has become a long way off. And so his declaration of war sounded more like a sign of life: “In moments like this it feels like you’re already through. But before we play there, they won’t be.” However, Liverpool would have to improve extremely in the second leg. “If you win the game, you have to win the right way. There are no signs of that so far,” said Klopp

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For now, Klopp has to concentrate on the Premier League, where his team hosts Crystal Palace on Sunday (3 p.m. CEST live on Sky). The team has to get together as quickly as possible so that they don’t lose important points in the fight for the championship again – like in the draw against Manchester United a week ago.

In the three-way battle for the title, just a few weeks before the end of the season, there is only one point between Arsenal in first place and Manchester City in third place – in between, Liverpool is level on points with Arsenal. Klopp asked his players to show “a reaction” on Sunday: “And I’m pretty sure they will.”


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